ECRU – Shannon’s Bodarius Taylor rushed for 254 yards in his first full game of the season to lead the Red Raiders to a narrow 44-42 win at North Pontotoc.
After being injured during a practice in July, the 5-foot-8, 180-pound junior running back took just 10 snaps in last week’s win against Tishomingo County. On Friday night in Ecru, it was difficult to tell he had been out.
“He’s a leader on the field. Pound for pound, he’s the strongest player on our team,” said Shannon coach Chad Cook. “We made the plays when we had to. It was a great team effort and a great job by our offensive line.”
It was also the first game back for Shannon’s senior quarterback, Legilbert Bogan, who had been out for a month with an injury.
“It was intense. They came out here to play hard. We just had to find a way to win it at the end,” Bogan said.
Meanwhile, it was the third straight loss for the Vikings, each by less than a touchdown and decided in the final two minutes.
“We put ourselves in a position to win. We just couldn’t finish,” said first-year North Pontotoc coach Brian Sutton. “The offense has been moving the football, and we knew if the defense could do just a little bit, we would have a chance.”
Shannon led 20-0 before North Pontotoc rallied to go ahead 35-32 on a 1-yard run by junior Mitchell Cunningham with 6:32 remaining in the third quarter.
Bogan completed a 15-yard pass to Keyon Lowery to start the final drive with 1:52 left in the game. A personal foul by North Pontotoc gave the Red Raiders possession at North Pontotoc’s 16.
Taylor followed with five carries to push Shannon to the 9, setting up Bogan’s throw to Jordan Trice on the right side of the end zone with 13 seconds remaining.
North Pontotoc returned the following kickoff to its 44, and Brandon Bailey completed a pass to Cunningham who scrambled to Shannon’s 34 as time expired.
Jay Tidwell/Special to the Journal